Great Fun ‘Shooting’ Birds at Reifel Today

Yumi and I spent several hours today wandering the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. We try to get down there at least three or four times a year.


This fella reminds me of a story my late Dad used to tell about a psych patient of his who told him: “You know Doc, I get up in the morning, I look in the mirror, and I like what I see.” 

Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary
And that confidence was not misplaced as this girl showed up and chased away any other female that got too close . . .


You look for the tallest tree, and there’s where the bald eagles be. . .


This Northern Harrier was trying hard to have duck for lunch


Then a second harrier showed up, assisting in setting off a duck explosion in the reeds, flushing them to try to pinpoint the young, the sick, the old, the weak. . .


Raptors may have me beat for grandeur, and wood ducks for slick colours, but ya can’t get any cuter than wee me! 


We could hear shotguns far off in the distance, but here’s an example of the only kind of wing-shooting I did today


No, I haven’t had any coffee yet today, is it that obvious? You got a comb?


Here’s a parent/kid shot. Good to see the cranes slowly building up their numbers.

Small Wins. . .

I am so proud of myself.

I had two watches that needed new batteries, and I drove to Crystal Mall in Burnaby and had them replaced.

I drove into the underground parking, I parked, I walked up several floors, I walked around and around the mall (it’s circular so you can do laps) while I waited for my watches.

I walked back down into the underground parking — and my car was RIGHT THERE! I didn’t need to go looking for it. SCORE! 

More Coho Dying Unspawned on Byrne Ck in Burnaby

Volunteers with the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society are seeing more coho prespawn mortality this season. That’s when coho that return to spawn die before they can do so.

This has been a recurring problem on the creek over the years, and is likely due to polluted road wash that carries contaminants into the water. There are ongoing studies in Washington State that point to a toxic brew of contaminants in stormwater as being lethal to coho, which seem particularly susceptible to it.

male prespawn mortality coho
We found this coho male today

female prespawn mortality coho
And this coho female full of eggs a couple of days ago

We get so few coho back to Byrne Creek that we treasure every one, and it’s so sad to see them die without completing their life cycle.

We desperately need to infiltrate water washed off from roads and parking lots into the ground through swales and rain gardens. The ground acts as a natural filter. Yet the Byrne Creek watershed in Burnaby, BC, is seeing more and more ground paved over despite hundreds of hours of professional and public input into Stormwater Management Plans and a recent Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

Note that it is illegal to interfere with spawning salmon. Streamkeepers have training and permission to process dead salmon to collect data on species, size, spawning status, etc. We return the carcasses to the creek after processing as they provide food and nutrients to other fish, animals and the overall ecosystem.

UPDATE (Dec. 7, 2017): More research coming from the US northwest. 

Clulow Leads Burnaby Fraser Foreshore Nature Tour 11/19

Yumi and I have taken several nature walks with George and have greatly enjoyed them. You can check out his blog here.

Guided Bird and Nature Walk Fraser Foreshore Park. Sunday, 19 November 2017

You are invited to join me for a morning’s exploration of this very interesting part of Burnaby. We’ll walk the Fraser River shoreline, the surrounding forests, and also the nearby active farmland in Burnaby’s Big Bend – a rare landscape in Burnaby today.

We’ll compare the birdlife of farmland and parkland to see the values that each offer for our wintering birds and migrating birds. Which ones have arrived for the winter season and which ones have likely bred here this past spring and summer, and which ones may be just here on their way south.

To register for this walk go to: www.burnaby.ca/webreg. Use barcode 461527. There is a nominal fee charged by the City for participation. Registration is required.

The walk will start at 9:00 am and finish at noon, and will cover approx 4 kms on level ground.

Meet at the parking area for Burnaby Fraser Foreshore Park at the south foot of Byrne Road. 7751 Fraser Park Drive – @ Byrne Road.

Participants should dress for the weather, and bring a drink and a snack. Trips go rain or shine.

SEHAB Meeting on Sunshine Coast

The volunteer Salmonid Enhancement and Habitat Advisory Board to the Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans met in Gibsons, BC, for a 2-1/2 day meeting this weekend. Thanks to local stewardship volunteers who showed us around! Here are some shots taken over the weekend.

We had a great working weekend, got lots done, and have lots of things to share with DFO Pacific Regional HQ.


The ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale


Me and Jan on the ferry. Thanks to my wife Yumi for this photo. I represent the North Side of the Fraser River from Burnaby to Mission, and Jan is a rep from the north coast.


Getting down to work


Great presentations from DFO


Some happy guy who just loves meetings! 🙂


A local Gibsons, BC, icon, that will be familiar to lots of Canadians of certain generations.


Now that’s a huge 3D watershed map!


Hopeful heron wishing the nets at the hatchery were not quite so effective 🙂

sehab sunshine coast gibsons chapman


Gotta goof around a bit to stay sane, eh?


Eagles checking us out as we were checking out the hatchery


American Dipper

Streamkeeping, sustainability, community, business, photography, books, and animals, with occasional forays into social commentary. Text and Photos © Paul Cipywnyk